Indian skipper Hardik Pandya appeared not-so-pleased with the wicket at Lucknow’s Ekana Cricket Stadium on Saturday after the hosts had to work really hard to chase 99 on the board. While defending a low score, New Zealand bowlers turned the game into a nail-biting thriller as the match went down to the wire. On a turning wicket, Suryakumar Yadav carved out a memorable win for India in the last over of the match.
After India’s win in Lucknow, stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya lashed out at the curator and gave his honest assertion after the star all-rounder was called for a quick chat during the post-match press conference.
“To be honest, it was a shocker of a wicket. In both the games we have played so far, I don’t mind difficult wickets, I am all up for that, but these two wickets are not made for T20Is. Somewhere down the line, the curators of the grounds that we are going to play in should make sure they prepare pitches earlier,” Pandya said.
Pandya further claimed that even 120 runs would have been a winning total on the surface. “New Zealand stuck to their plans and ensured we did not rotate the strike. We kept rotating the spinners. Dew didn’t play many parts in this game. They were able to spin the ball more than us. It was carrying through well. It was a shocker of a wicket,” Pandya added.
For India, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, and Deepak Hooda picked one wicket each in the game. While Arshdeep Singh and skipper Hardik Pandya too bagged crucial wickets in the game. Suryakumar's unbeaten knock of 26 off 31 balls and Pandya's crucial cameo (15 off 20 balls) propelled India to a six-wicket win over the Black Caps in Lucknow. With the win, hosts India have levelled the series 1-1.